It’s not going to take nationally ranked Mallard Creek long to know exactly how good its 2015 high school football team will be.
The Mavericks will play three games within 14 days to start the season – all against teams expected to be state title contenders.
We didn’t want to play it that way, but we had no choice with our schedule. It’s hard to find games, but we’re excited about the opportunity to play those great programs. We have to stay healthy. We’ve got some work to go but we feel we’ll be in a good place come season time.
Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri on his team’s tough schedule
Mallard Creek will play Independence on Aug. 22, a Saturday, at Memorial Stadium to kick off the season. Independence has appeared in eight N.C. 4A or 4AA championship games since 2000, winning seven.
On Aug. 28, Mallard Creek will play Butler at home. Butler won state championships in 2009, 2010 and 2012. The Bulldogs lost to Mallard Creek in the 2013 state semifinals.
And, finally, on Sept. 4, Mallard Creek will play at S.C. 4A power Byrnes. Byrnes has won four S.C. 4A Big 16 state titles since 2007.
“We didn’t want to play it that way, but we had no choice with our schedule,” Mavericks coach Mike Palmieri said. “It’s hard to find games, but we’re excited about the opportunity to play those great programs. We have to stay healthy. We’ve got some work to go but we feel we’ll be in a good place come season time.”
▪ Former Victory Christian all-state star Thaddeus Moss has transferred to Mallard Creek for his senior year. Rivals.com ranks Moss, 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, the nation’s No. 8 recruit at tight end. He is the son of former NFL All-Pro Randy Moss.
“He’s been awesome,” Palmieri said of Moss. “We’ll put him at tight end and defensive end. He’s a really good player, a good team guy. He fits us perfect.”
▪ Mallard Creek finished 11-3 in an invitation-only elite 7-on-7 in Hoover, Ala., this month. The Mavericks lost in the semifinals to Hoover on a tipped ball on the last play.
Jarvis Davis is the new girls’ basketball coach at West Mecklenburg. Davis also will be co-defensive coordinator for the football team. He previously was girls’ basketball coach, and track and football assistant coach at Hunter-Kinard (S.C.) High. His basketball teams won three conference championships and were state runners-up.
West Mecklenburg will host a N.C. Battle of The Border on Aug. 15. Games will start at 6 p.m. Fairfield Central (S.C.) will play West Meck to start the event, followed by Lancaster (S.C.) against Hough, and it will conclude with 2014 S.C. Big 16 4A state champion Hillcrest facing N.C. 4A power Independence. Each game is slated to last an hour.
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr